The Spinners get Spun

Tony Curzon Price
Tony Curzon Price
15 August 2007

Virgil Griffith has just made it possible for us to glimpse at how the spinners on wikipedia have been spinning their tale for us. Go and look for yourself.

When you edit a wikipedia entry anonymously, you still leave just a bit of a trace: the Internet Protocal number that your local network uses to access the internet.  So it is possible to tell the organisations from which people have been modifying specific wikipedia entries ... and possible to infer that these organisations were behind those changes, especially where some narrative about the interests involved can be concocted.

I was particularly fascinated by Conservative Party Central Office's "corrections" to wikipedia entries.

It shows (again, I fear), that while crowdsourcing may be good for heavy-lifting, it is not so good for contentious, careful-lifitng. The crowd, without a framework for quality control, son gets manipulated.

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